Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Feeling of Isolation

Being the parent of an addict can be very lonely. Addiction is the only disease in which not only do the parents tend to blame themselves, but so do others who don’t know the nature of the beast. I’ve done my share of self-blame, but I’m working on it.  I could drive myself crazy with the “what ifs” and “should haves” but that wouldn’t do my son or me a bit of good.   I don’t know about the rest of you, but I just don’t talk about what is going on with my son outside of Alanon, my immediate family, and this blog.  I have found that unless a person has first-hand experience parenting an addict, they just don’t get it.  My husband is my son's step-dad, and it's so strange when I'm around his family for get- togethers lately,  everyone knows about my son's recent arrest but nobody mentions it.  I know it's because they just don't know what to say, but it's like the big elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about.   Even the people who show compassion really can’t understand unless they’ve walked in our shoes.  So, I just don’t talk about it.  I want to thank the followers who take time out to read my posts because I know that most of you have been there, done that, and know how it feels.  We all share the same broken hearts.  That in itself, takes away some of my feeling of isolation. 
            I printed a copy of the following poem and took it to my son when I visited him in jail, but I also want to share it with all of you.  I reread it today and realized that not only does it apply to the addicts, but to the parents of the addicts as well.  May it bring you comfort as it did me.

God Will Take Care of You

May your troubled heart
find peace and comfort in the knowledge
that you are never alone.
May God's presence ease
your trembling spirit and give you rest.
He knows how you feel.
He is ever aware of your circumstances
and ready to be your strength,
your grace, and your peace.
He is there to cast sunlight
into all of your darkened shadows,
to send encouragement through the love
of friends and family, and
to replace your weariness with new hope.

God is your stronghold,
and with Him as your guide,
you need never be afraid.
No circumstances can block His love.
No grief is too hard for Him to bear.
No task is too difficult
for Him to complete.
When what you are feeling
is simply too deep for words
and nothing anyone does or says
can provide you with the relief you need,
God understands.
He is your provider --
today, tomorrow, and always.
And He loves you.
Cast all of your cares on Him...
  and believe.
     -- Linda E. Knight


  1. I think that you are right not to disucuss this much with people who have no idea. I know that I had no idea myself and thought that this would never happen to me eventhough I had several close friends who were great parents and I saw it happen with thier kids. Go figure.

    1. Thank you, Anna. I'm learning that addiction knows no boundaries. I've seen the same thing you mentioned as I watch addiction claim kids from what I would consider model parents. It makes no sense, but then I'm also learning that I can't make something rational out of something as insane as addiction.

  2. http://intervene.drugfree.org/2010/01/help-your-child-by-overcoming-your-shame/

    1. Thank you for the link, Dad. What a great article. I felt validated as I read it and was reminded that I am not alone in this journey. I also felt encouraged by the wisdom that you have gained on your own journey.
      I read another excellent article you wrote on the same site: http://intervene.drugfree.org/2009/11/7-truths-about-my-addict-that-took-5-years-to-learn/
      I could relate to so much of that. Thank you for sharing.

    2. They have published many of my essays. You can find a whole list of them here. http://intervene.drugfree.org/author/ron/

  3. we dont have it much easier either-no disrespect meant in any way, shape or form.

    1. I haven't experienced personally the pain an addict lives with every day of their lives, but I have watched, helplessly, as it slowly took over my beautiful son's life. Only the addict can know how it truly feels. I pray each day for not only the parents of addicts, but the addicts as well. Peace be with you.

  4. I totally agree! Addiction is a very isolating disease, whether you are the parent or the addict. I have shied away from friends and family members so that I wouldn't get myself caught up in an uncomfortable conversation. It's easier to just "make nice" in a quick email or text. Blogging aside, my only support system is my husband. We lean heavily on one another and, thankfully, balance each other out when the other one starts to fall apart.

    I know my son feels just as isolated as we do. Aside from us, no one knows the extent of his addiction, not even his live in girlfriend. I have watched him lose one friend after another because of the drugs. Honestly, that is harder for me than my own loneliness. I can't bear to see him so sad and alone in all this...and yet he chooses drugs over everything in life that matters to him. Just another horrible side effect of this awful disease.

    I have been thinking about you quite a bit and was hoping you got to see your son this last weekend. I pray for his well being and hope he is adjusting to his current situation okay.

    1. I'm glad you have your husband for support. My husband has been so supportive through all of this, and I am blessed to have him in my life. As I mentioned, he is my son's step-dad and we didn't meet and get married until after my son was grown and on his own. I wish he would have known my "pre-meth" son-the caring, thoughtful, happy son.

      Addiction is such a merciless, insidious disease. I went through the same pain you spoke of as I watched my son lose every friend he had as the addiction took over his life. Surely, there can be nothing more painful for a parent than watching one of their children suffer and being helpless to stop it.

      The jail my son is in only allows visits every 1st and 3rd Sunday. I didn't get to see him last Sunday but I will this Sunday.

      Thank you for your prayers for my son. Please keep praying (see my newest post). I will keep praying for you and your son as well. Blessings to you.

  5. I feel the same way you do, no one gets it unless they have been through it. There have been many times I have felt judged so I like you just share with my nar-anon friends and sometimes family. My family knows the whole story but they really can't quite grasp the whole picture. I felt pretty isolated until I started attending nar-anon, I was so blessed to find such a wonderful group of people. I'll be praying for you son.

    1. Thank you for the prayer for my son, Erin. We don't have a nar-anon group in our area, but I wish we did. I attend Alanon, and that helps. It took me awhile to build up enough trust to share in Alanon, but once I did I found a lot of support and validation there. Writing my blog and reading other blogs has been a big help too.